Contesting a Will

29 Apr 2009

A Will is a legal document which states how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. Everyone should have a valid, up to date Will tailored to their individual circumstances.

Although you are free to leave your assets to whomsoever you wish, in some circumstances a Will can be contested. In Victoria, a Will can be challenged if insufficient provision has been made in the Will for a spouse or partner, a child or another person for whom the Willmaker had an obligation to provide.

Contesting or defending a Will is a complicated, costly and emotional process. Each case depends on its own facts and the Court examines the family history.

Some of the factors a Court considers in a claim for further provision are:

  • Size of the estate
  • The financial resources and earning capacity of the person challenging the Will
  • Closeness and nature of the relationship between the applicant and the deceased
  • Character and conduct of the applicant

Usually a claim against a Will must be made within 6 months of the date of the Grant of Probate of the Will. It is important to act quickly.

Mason Sier Turnbull can:

  • Help you to make a new Will or review your existing Will to reflect your current circumstances
  • Look at your individual position to see if your Will could be contested and advise on how you can prevent or minimise a claim
  • Advise on whether you can make a claim against an estate and the likelihood of success
  • Advise executors on their obligations under a Will in defending a claim

Author: Paul Watkins